Defense Ministry Seeks 5 Billion Shekel Boost as Iran Threat Grows

“The horse is readied for the day of battle, But victory comes from Hashem.” Proverbs 21:31 (The Israel Bible™)

Citing increased security threats, in particular the situation in Syria, Hezbollah’s acquirement of guided missiles and Iran’s military growth and expansionism, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman called Monday for an additional NIS 4.8 billion in military spending over the next three years.

“There have been dramatic changes in the region, that no one predicted,” Liberman told military reporters. “Our primary aim is to prevent the next war and that will only happen if we are active in the ‘war between wars’ and by strengthening our deterrence.”

He also warned that “Iran’s military industries were closing the gap in terms of their technological abilities.”

The defense minister repeated that Israel would not allow Iran to consolidate its presence in Syria. “We have made it clear to everyone, including the two world powers and regional players that we will not allow Iran to establish a presence in Syria,” Liberman said.

Liberman noted that while the IDF was bound by a 2015 budgetary agreement signed by then defense minister Moshe Yaalon and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon that runs through to 2020, the terms of the agreement allowed for budgetary additions in the event of significant changes in the security picture.

A senior military officer told the briefing that “no one could have imagined two years ago that the Shi’ite axis would gain a foothold in Syria.” He added that while Iran was aiming to “become a regional power” Israel “was making its red lines clear.”

Finance Ministry sources said that the multi-year agreement had been reached precisely in order to enable the army to create long-term programs.